SWNT lose out 3-0 to clinical Norwegians
Women’s International Challenge Match
Scotland 0-3 Norway
La Manga Club, La Manga
Friday, 19 January 2018, 5pm (UK time)
Norway: Isabell Herlovsen (11’, 28’), Maria Thorisdottir (52’)
Scotland’s first match of 2018 ended in a 3-0 defeat at the hand of the 14th best team in the world.
Shelley Kerr’s side started well but a double from Isabell Herlovsen proved to be a setback before a third goal just after the half-time break sealed the win for the Norwegians.
Jo Love captained Scotland for the first time in her 183 caps and Sophie Howard made her first start for her country.
Scotland were quick out the blocks with Claire Emslie seeing a shot well saved from distance following an opening 20 minute period where Shelley Kerr’s side were dominant.
Against the run of play though, Norway took the lead when the ball dropped to Isabell Herlovsen in the box and she was able to guide the ball beyond Lee Alexander.
Erin Cuthbert was working well as an anchor in midfield and set up Lisa Evans who put a dangerous cross into the box with Jane Ross unable to direct the ball home.
Norway looked dangerous from long distance as Caroline Graham Hansen whistled a shot wide of the target after 23 minutes.
Lee Alexander then produced a brilliant save before Frankie Brown was required to clear the ball off the line.
Scotland could only withhold the onslaught for so long though and with 28 minutes gone, Norway doubled their lead.
Isabell Herlovsen unleashed a drive from just inside the box and was able to make it 2-0.
At the start of the second half, Norway made it three when Maria Thorisdottir nodded the ball off the post.
As the second period wore on, Scotland made a raft of changes including Jenna Fife who replaced Lee Alexander, making her Scotland debut in between the sticks.
Scotland battled away throughout but were just unable to carve out a chance to allow them to get on the scoresheet.
Shelley Kerr said: “Norway are a really strong, direct team and we struggled to cope with that physicality.
“We created some really good chances though which was positive.
“We knew this would be a tough game but we looked dangerous which is something that has alluded us in the past when we’ve played higher ranked nations.
“In the second half we made a lot of changes which didn’t interrupt our attacks. We just need to work on our game intelligence.
“It was a great exercise for us, despite the result.
“One her first start for Scotland, I thought Sophie Howard was excellent and formed a good partnership with Jennifer Beattie.”
Scotland will take on Russia in Pinatar on Monday afternoon, kick-off 2pm (UK time).
That match will be the last of the trip before Scotland return to Pinatar in next month where they will embark on another training camp before playing two matches against New Zealand.
Following that double header, the World Cup qualification campaign begins again, facing Switzerland and Poland in April.
Scotland: Alexander (Fife, 75), Frankie Brown (Smith, 81), Mitchell, Beattie, Love (Captain), Cuthbert (Weir, 56), Crichton (Small, 53), Evans (McLauchlan, 65), Ross, Howard, Emslie (Murray, 81)